They Withheld This Secret From The World For 40 Years
Fatima Travel Blog› entry 5 of 79 › view all entries
On 13th May 1917 in the Portuguese countryside, an astonishing event witnessed by 3 shepherd children occurred. This event repeated itself on the same day for 5 consecutive months bewildering the world and culminating with a crowd of 70,000 gathering on the last to witness what is called the ‘Miracle of the Sun’. 2 of the children predictably died in the immediate years after these set of events, however Lúcia Dos Santos lived on till 2005. There were 3 secrets including elements of prophecy and eschatology given to the children during those episodes. The controversial 3rd secret was deliberately withheld from the world for around 40 years and was finally released in 2000. A feature film has since been made about these events.
I arrive in Fatima to spend much of my day here en route to Lisbon. Fatima is named after Our Lady of Fatima (title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary) as she appeared in apparitions reported by the 3 children right here of course in Fatima. The 3 secrets entrusted to the children are:
1st SECRET: Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire (hell) which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven.
2nd SECRET: According to quotation: You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pope Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.
Some have criticized that the second prophecy was not disclosed until August 1941, after World War II had already begun.
Pope Pius XII in his Apostolic letter Sacro Vergente of 7 July 1952, consecrated Russia to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope John Paul II again consecrated the entire world to the Virgin Mary in 1984, without explicitly mentioning Russia.
3rd SECRET: According to quotation: After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!' And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'.
CONTROVERSY AROUND THE 3rd SECRET: The Holy See withheld the Third Secret until 26 June 2000, despite Lúcia's declaration that it should be released to the public after 1960. Some sources said that Lúcia insisted to them it must be released by 1960, saying that, "by that time, it will be more clearly understood", and, "because the Blessed Virgin wishes it so”. When 1960 arrived, rather than releasing the 3rdsecret, the Vatican published an official press release stating that it was "most probable the Secret would remain, forever, under absolute seal". After this announcement, immense speculation over the content of the secret materialized. According to the New York Times speculation over the content of the secret ranged from "worldwide nuclear annihilation to deep rifts in the Roman Catholic Church that lead to rival papacies.
The release of the text sparked immediate criticism, even outrage, from the Catholic Church in Portugal. Clergy as well as laypeople had been outraged that the text had been read in Rome and not at the Fatima shrine in Portugal where the reported events took place. Portuguese Catholics responded to the release of the text with disbelief, saying that if the words did not concern some kind of terrible catastrophe such as war, holocaust or apocalypse, there had been no reason for the Vatican to keep them secret. Some sources claim that the four-page, handwritten text of the 3rdsecret released by the Vatican in the year 2000 is not the real secret, or at least not the full secret.
MIRACLE OF THE SUN: As early as July 1917 it was claimed that the Virgin Mary had promised a miracle for the last of her apparitions on 13 October, so that all would believe. A crowd of around 70,000 including newspaper reporters and photographers gathered at the Cova da Iria.
Since no scientifically verifiable physical cause can be adduced to support the phenomenon of the sun, various explanations have been advanced to explain the descriptions given by numerous witnesses. A leading conjecture is a mass hallucination possibly stimulated by the religious fervour of the crowds expectantly waiting for a predicted sign. Professor Auguste Meessen of the Institute of Physics, Catholic University of Leuven proposed that the reported observations were optical effects caused by prolonged staring at the sun. .
In addition to the Miracle of the Sun, the seers at Fátima indicated that the lady prophesied a great sign in the night sky which would precede a second great war.
FATE OF THE 3 CHILDREN: Sister Lúcia reportedly saw Mary in private visions periodically throughout her life. Sister Lúcia's cousins – the 2 other children who witnessed the apparitions, siblings Francisco (1908–1919) and Jacinta Marto (1910–1920), were both victims of the Great Spanish flu.
FATE OF ME: After eating a traditional Portuguese lunch of Pork, a popular meat with Goan Catholic Indians as well, I had the energy to explore the sprawling premises of Fatima where I saw the biggest Church in my life. There are several underground chapels and confessions are heard here as well. I saw several 100s of worshippers give donations, offer candles and say prayers. There was a young woman with tears in her eyes who was carrying her baby in front of her. In a kneeling position, she painfully made several rounds around the statue of Our Lady of Fatima (which is the exact spot where our Lady appeared) while reciting the rosary. I prayed for whatever that woman’s wish was. I also made it a point to hear mass here. I then prayed to our Mother Mary (Our Lady of Fatima) mostly for my mother who is ailing from cancer. I filled up my bottle with miraculous water from the fountain and will take that home to my mum even if it meant taking it to several different countries across the world before getting it to my mum in India. And with all that, the faithful departed for the unfaithful city of Lisbon…